Joined-up thinking

I’ve recently spent time with the Special Collections and Collection Management teams to consider the potential benefits of working together in a shared workspace. Although sharing a workspace would mean a completely new way of working for both teams, this proposal would provide great opportunities for improving the efficiency of the overall collections services. Creating a single point for receiving stock and establishing combined areas for processing stock would be of particular benefit.

A separate project is being drawn up to look at the future position of Facilities Management in the Main Library. I have been liaising with many colleagues from across the Library, House Services and Faculty Estates teams to better understand our current processes, what’s working well and which areas might be improved. This process will help us to identify where facility management functions might have to be adapted or developed in order to manage the new Library spaces and to ensure that these functions best support the Library experience we wish to deliver.

The Coupland Building, The University of Manchester
Ongoing works at the Coupland Building, The University of Manchester

Part of my role is to stay up-to-date with the other Estates Masterplan Projects that have a link to the Library, either directly (as in the development of an internal Library) or indirectly (e.g. advising the design of Teaching and Learning spaces). You may be able to spot work progressing around the Alliance Manchester Business School as the construction team continue to prepare groundworks for the development of the Staybridge Hotel.

Scaffolding has been removed from the Coupland building and over the coming weeks the project team will be using a drone to survey the building’s roofs. I was amazed to discover that the Schunck Building (part of the Coupland site and adjacent to the Main Library entrance) was removed from its original home in Kersal in 1904 and re-erected on Burlington Street brick by brick. There is also a vast level of detail being finalised in relation to the MECD project. You will see the area along Upper Brook Street (behind Oddfellows Hall) having the groundworks prepared and the demolition of a number of buildings in this vicinity is progressing well.

Following a long period of renovation, the Manchester Museum café is now open and is being run by Teacup Kitchen. There is a fantastic new menu of eat-in and takeaway food, which it is certainly worth sampling (the flapjacks are fantastic). Make sure you leave enough time if you go down on your lunch break, because it’s really popular.

Tibor Reich retrospective, The Whitworth
Image from the Tibor Reich retrospective, The Whitworth

The Tibor Reich textiles exhibition has also opened at The Whitworth and I found it a very interesting collection – I’d certainly recommend making time to go and see it as I’m sure you will too.

Manchester will be ringing in Chinese New Year – The Year of the Red Fire Monkey – with celebrations across the city throughout the weekend. Manchester is always a haven of activity at this time of the year, especially as our Chinatown is the third largest in Europe.

As some of you may well have experienced, there are lots of roadworks currently underway throughout Manchester including Portland Street and the Hathersage Road/Oxford Road junction. In relation to the work along the Oxford Road corridor, you can find out more by visiting the Manchester city centre travel update on Staffnet.

Thanks for reading.

Mike Kelly (Library Space Project Manager).

 

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